SO237      Half Unit
Racial Borderscapes

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Suzanne Hall STC.S203


This course is available on the BSc in Language, Culture and Society and BSc in Sociology. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course has a limited number of places (it is capped). Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

This course is not available as a 1st year option.

Course content

This course explores the relationship between the racialised migration systems and the everyday life of borders. By working with the frame of ‘borderscapes’ this course provides opportunities to explore the spatial production of racialised borders across national, urban and intimate scales. The course critically examines border regimes by engaging in sociological and spatial perspectives. We will analyse how concepts such as ‘sovereignty’, 'citizenship', 'race' and ‘illegality’ are spatialised, bringing these into dialogue with formations such as camps, domestic interiors and workplaces. Through these spaces we will also explore practices of cultural debordering and political resistance that occur through the everyday and the commonplace. Our learning process is enlivened through student presentations and writing workshops.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures, classes, workshops and online materials totalling a minimum of 20 hours in LT.

There will be student group presentations in seminars across most weeks and a writing workshop in Week 10.

Students on this course will have a Reading Week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

1,000-1,500 word formative essay to be submitted in Week 7 of Lent Term.

The formative classwork ranges from brief in-class writing exercises, to a short formative essay on which one-to-one written feedback is given, to a writing workshop where selected formative essays are shared to focus discussion on key writing techniques and approaches.

Indicative reading

Bhattacharyya, Gargi. Rethinking racial capitalism: Questions of reproduction and survival. Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018.

Çaglar, Ayse, and Nina Glick Schiller. Migrants and city-making: Dispossession, displacement, and urban regeneration. Duke University Press, 2018.

De Genova, Nicholas P. "Migrant “illegality” and deportability in everyday life." Annual review of anthropology 31, no. 1 (2002): 419-447.

Gupta, Monisha Das. Unruly immigrants: Rights, activism, and transnational South Asian politics in the United States. Duke University Press, 2006.

Gilroy, Paul. There ain't no black in the Union Jack. Routledge, 1987.

Hall, Suzanne. The migrant’s paradox: Street livelihoods and marginal citizenship in Britain. University of Minnesota Press, 2021.

Jones, Hannah, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, and William Davies. Go home?: The politics of immigration controversies. Manchester University Press, 2017.

Khalaf, Abdulhadi, Omar AlShehabi, and Adam Hanieh. Transit states: Labour, migration and citizenship in the Gulf. Pluto Press, 2015.

Landau, Loren Brett, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, and Gayatri Singh. Xenophobia in South Africa and problems related to it. Johannesburg: Forced Migration Studies Programme, University of the Witwatersrand, 2005.

Mezzadra, Sandro, and Brett Neilson. Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor. Duke University Press, 2013.

Valluvan, Sivamohan. The clamour of nationalism: Race and nation in twenty-first-century Britain. Manchester University Press, 2019.

Yuval-Davis, Nira, Georgie Wemyss, and Kathryn Cassidy. Bordering. John Wiley & Sons, 2019.

Walia, Harsha. Border and rule: global migration, capitalism, and the rise of Racist nationalism. Haymarket Books, 2021.


Essay (80%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Group presentation (20%) in the LT.

An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the first Tuesday of Summer Term.

Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2021/22: 35

Average class size 2021/22: 18

Capped 2021/22: Yes (34)

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills